The gray & green stitch : blending green infrastructure into urban transportation right-of-ways




Patel, Priya Mahendrabhai

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Rapid growth and climate change are two main challenges that the majority of the cities of the United States currently face. For this reason, it is time for cities to use smart and multidisciplinary techniques to address these challenges. To present an example, this study proposes ideas and strategies on how to manage stormwater runoff to reduce some of the impacts of floods. The consequences of stormwater are often hardly noticed until it is too late. In Texas, the cities have become hotter than before and are predicted to become more intolerable in the future. Hotter temperatures increase the frequency of storms annually, and with an increase in the number of storms comes heavy rainfall. In turn, heavy rainfall and an increase in impervious cover due to population growth can be the worst nightmare for the cities of Texas. One of the sustainable techniques that few cities in the USA are implementing to overcome the issues of managing stormwater runoff is Green Streets. Green Streets allow the public right of way (ROW) to manage stormwater runoff with comparatively very affordable solutions than other longtime expensive grey infrastructures. As the concept of Green Street is new, not many cities have this program implemented. However, the cities that have implemented them agree that it has not only helped to reduce the impact of floods, but it has also greatly improved the quality of the surrounding neighborhoods. The objective of this report is to investigate the challenges regarding stormwater management at three levels—Macro (Colorado River Watershed-the city of Austin), Meso (the Shoal Creek Watershed), and Micro (Clay Street), and help the city of Austin implement a Green Street program. This study can act as an information guide, providing steps to be taken to implement green streets for the City of Austin where no such program yet exists. It will provide recommended strategies to the city to tackle some of the climate issues highlighted in the “Atlas 14” Report and reduce the risks of flooding and polluted waters due to the increase in impervious cover


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